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31 January 2018

The Auditor General requires attention when it comes to enhancing the sustainability of national measures for environmental protection and air quality

MbrojtjaMjedisit

Given the increased public concern and the recent actions taken by the competent institutions, we bring to the attention of the public and those in charge of public accountability that the Kosovo National Audit Office at the end of 2016 published the performance audit report “Sustainability of National Environmental Protection Measures”.

The subject of our audit was the sustainability of the effective implementation of the measures set out in the document of the National Environmental Action Plan and the challenges when it comes to the implementation of the measures by the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning, with the leading role it has in relation to the objectives set out in this plan. The main recommendation given in this audit and which was to be addressed within a year was: “To review the measures set out in the National Environmental Action Plan on a realistic analysis, setting realistic and achievable objectives”.

Regarding this, the Auditor General, Besnik Osmani, called upon the Responsible Institutions to prioritize the recommendations resulting from the audits which relate to environmental protection and air quality to improve the current situation. He also notes that it is of concern that the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning as the main bearer of responsibility did not prepare an action plan for addressing the recommendations given. This shows the lack of institutional willingness and responsibility to address environmental concerns in time.

Assessing safe living environment and protecting it as a decisive matter for the health of citizens and economic development of the country, the Kosovo National Audit Office in the past carried out several performance audits that raised issues to be addressed in order to further improve the situation. While currently, it is part of the joint European “Air Quality” Audit initiated by EUROSAI and led by the Supreme Audit Institution of the Netherlands and Poland. The objective of this audit is to assess the measures taken by participating States to address the problem of air pollution. The focus will be on issues related to the legislative, institutional framework and the monitoring, implementation and reporting on the condition of the air quality. The Air Quality Audit Report is expected to be published soon.

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